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Crafts Center exhibitions include creative works from students, local artists and crafts guild members.

Exhibitions are on display throughout the year at the Crafts Center’s R. A. Bryan Foundation, Inc. Gallery and in the Street Gallery Windows. The windows usually display instructor examples for upcoming classes, craft guild exhibitions and works by Crafts Center artists and craftspeople.

Gallery exhibitions are supported by NC State University Foundation.

Exhibitions are open for viewing during normal Crafts Center hours as listed on our Calendar page.

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In the R. A. Bryan, Inc. Gallery

Summer 2023

Jillian Sortore: Plume

An exhibition of wearable and sculptural objects from wood and metal including Jillian’s interactive Found Feather Exchange Project

Exhibition: May 17 – July 27, 2023

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 10, 5:00 – 7:00pm

Jillian creates wearable and sculptural objects from wood and metal exploring avian characteristics, instincts, and sexual dimorphism as a metaphor for human relationships. These works are part of a series that represent the vulnerable moments in our lives and the instances that are often forgotten created in the form of amulets. In this ongoing series she creates wearable and sculptural pieces that reference both decorative and cryptically colored plumes. By investigating the dichotomy of male and female plumage, behaviors, and display, these pieces acknowledge emotions of attraction, cognizance, and vulnerability. Jillian is interested in how art can be activated on the body and how the body engages the work.What does it mean when you find a feather?  Feathers are known to hold different meanings and have been an object of symbolism throughout history.  Some might find that they bring luck or are an indication that your life is going in the right direction.  Some might feel that feathers represent a spiritual realm or a sign from a lost loved one.  

Found Feather Exchange Project

Feathers are symbols of freedom and flight both physically and emotionally.  

In any way you interpret the meaning, finding a fallen feather seems to reconnect us to the world or bring a small glimpse of delight into our lives.  

“For this project I have collaborated with the C:LAB at NC State University’s Crafts Center to create these laser-cut brooches that are provided here for the taking.  I ask that you replace the brooch and card with a placeholder card where you can share a thought, memory, image, or message to others in the world.”  

About Jillian:

Jillian Sortore received her MFA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2010 and her BFA in Jewelry Design and Metals from Pittsburg State University in 2006. A variety of materials inform her work, which ranges from cheerfully lightweight and bright earrings to sculptural adornment. Jillian’s work can be found in publications such as 500 RingsThe Art of Jewelry; Plastic and Resin, and Heat, Color, Set & Fire.  In addition to maintaining an active studio practice, Sortore is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  

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